Mar 11, 2013 9:31 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Edward Bullard has died, and his sudden death has come as a shock to many in the community. Bullard died on Sunday morning, not long after he underwent heart surgery.
Darrel Parker, Courts Executive Officer for Santa Barbara County Superior Courts, said he last saw Bullard at court in Santa Maria on Thursday, before he was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital.
Parker described Bullard on Monday as compassionate, friendly, and perhaps most importantly, fair.
"Judge Bullard could always be counted on to step forward and pick up the most difficult of cases," said Parker.
After former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Bullard to the bench in 2006, Bullard presided over numerous high profile felony trials, including the Lee Leeds case and the Nicholas Bendle case.
Prior to the bench, Bullard was a Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney. He would often go head to head in court with constitutional defense attorney Darryl Genis, of Santa Barbara.
Genis said, "We would talk things out, sometimes in a very calm and collected way, and sometimes in a more passionate way, but we always understood each other's perspective."
Even after Bullard became a judge, Genis said he always had the utmost respect for him.
"There were times when I litigated and lost in his court, and there were times when I litigated and won in his court, but there was never a time when I felt like I didn't have a fair hearing in his court," said Genis.
Parker said on Monday that it was a somber day at the courts in Santa Maria, and Judge Bullard's staff continued to work, but just through a lot of tears.
He said, "It's a difficult, trying time."
Bullard had been presiding over a murder case surrounding a Lompoc man, but the trial has now been appointed to retired Judge Rick Brown.
Bullard leaves behind his wife, Sandy, and his step-daughter, Cindy.
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